Texas Lawmaker Backs Creationist ‘Degree’

Science • Views: 1,731

Last year the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board refused to approve a master’s degree program in “science education” offered by the Institute for Creation Research, a young earth creationist institution in Dallas founded by Henry Morris in 1972. Morris is one of the authors of The Genesis Flood, a founding work of the branch of creationism labeled “creation science.”

The idea behind the ICR’s master’s degree program is to start turning out accredited “science teachers” who would get into public schools and promote Biblical literalist pseudo-science, either by teaching it outright or by less obtrusive techniques that would draw less attention.

This year, the new approach to get this approval, proposed by Republican Rep. Leo Berman, would simply let the ICR be exempt from the rules.

(I don’t think he meant “the rules of the physical universe.”)

The Institute for Creation Research couldn’t get its proposal to offer an online master’s degree in science education approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board last year.

Now, an East Texas lawmaker has come up with an alternative: Exempt the institute from the coordinating board’s rules. Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, said his proposed legislation is intended to allow the Bible-oriented group to proceed without the coordinating board’s blessing. “Why are people who call themselves scientists afraid to hear two sides of a debate?” Berman asked Friday.

His proposal would exempt private, nonprofit educational institutions that do not accept state funding and state-administered federal funding from coordinating board rules. …

Berman said his proposal encourages different viewpoints and debate. “Personally, I don’t believe in evolution,” he said. “I don’t believe I came from a salamander that came out of a pond.”

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